Arlo Pro vs Nest Outdoor vs Ring Stick Up vs Canary Flex.
The Arlo Pro, the Nest Outdoor and the Ring Stick Up Cam are three of the most popular and biggest selling smart cameras.
But how are they same and how are they different?
And what are their strengths and weaknesses?
My comparison contains a detailed video review as well as a full written review so that you can choose to watch a review or to read it!
1. Video Review
2. Basic Specifications
In this section I compare some of the basic features of these cameras.
And so what is interesting here is that all four of these smart security cameras are made by different companies.
Arlo is the Smart home division of Netgear which is a famous company that has been making network devices for many years.
Nest is a company that was bought by Google in 2014.
Canary and Ring are both much smaller technology start-up companies who just make smart devices.
All 4 cameras were first available for sale in 2016.
The ring launched in February, the Nest launched in July and the Arlo Pro and Canary launched in October.
In terms of weight the Nest Outdoor is the heaviest camera and it is over twice as heavy as the Arlo Pro.
The Canary Flex and the Ring Stick Up cam are about the same weight.
The Arlo Pro, Canary Flex and Ring Cam are all about the same size, but the Nest Outdoor is quite a bit larger.
3. Security Features
In this section I compare some of the security features of these four smart cameras.
Once again all four of these cameras have night vision.
I suspect that they all use the same technology to provide night vision but I cannot find any specifications relating to the night vision for the ring cam.
The Arlo Pro, Canary Flex and Next Outdoor all use infrared LEDs which have a range of 850 NM (nanometers.)
This range of NM is known to provide a good quality image in low light conditions.
It also means that the LEDs on these cameras give off an “infrared glow” which might be a good deterrent to any night time intruder.
None of these cameras use facial recognition technology which is unfortunate as it is, perhaps, one of the next big things in smart security cameras.
And it is easy to see why.
If a camera can recognise a face, it is the beginning of understanding between if a person is a friend or a foe, a threat or a resident, an employee or intruder.
It is another step in automation.
There are a few cameras on the market that use this technology at the moment: one of them being the Nest IQ.
All of these cameras have motion detection- with adjustable sensitivity and email alerts and push notifications.
Motion detection is the ability of the camera to recognise any movement.
Having adjustable sensitivity is very important particularly to outdoor security cameras.
People who live on busy streets might perhaps want to turn the sensitivity down so that the camera is not constantly detecting irrelevant motion such as passing cars and pedestrians.
People who live in quiet neighborhoods might want to increase the sensitivity.
An added feature on the Ring Stick Up Cam also has motion zones that you can create within the camera’s field of view.
As far as I can make out only the Arlo Pro and the Nest Outdoor have sound alerts.
Sound detection is the ability of the camera to recognise any sound.
Only the Arlo Pro has a siren, which is built into its base station. It’s siren is 105 decibels in volume.
None of the other cameras have sirens because they don’t have base stations.
Pan & Tilt
Another popular feature with smart security cameras is pan and tilt technology.
All of these cameras are installed on bases that enable them to pan left and right and tilt up and down- this all needs to be done manually.
Pinch & Zoom
They also have a digital pan and tilt and zoom feature within the app, which allows you to view different parts of the image by swiping and by pinching to zoom.
Some smart security cameras have the ability to automatically track and moving object and keep it in the centre of the image.
One example is the Nest IQ.
Via the app the Arlo Pro and the Nest Outdoor cameras provide digital zoom of x 8.
The Canary Flex and the Rings Cam have x3 digital zoom.
For me the winner in this section is the Arlo Pro.
4. Video & Audio Features
In this section I compare the most important video and audio features of these four cameras.
Moving onto some of the video and audio features of these cameras.
The Nest Outdoor is using a 3 megapixel lens.
The Arlo Pro is using a 1 megapixel lens and I couldn’t find any information about the lens that is used in the Canary or the Ring.
Field of View
This is a measurement of how much of the surrounding area a lens can “see”.
The Arlo Pro and the Nest Outdoor have 130° field of view, which is what the top smart security cameras offer.
The Flex has 116 degree field of view, whereas the Ring has only a 80 degrees field of view which is very small.
The Arlo Pro, the Canary Flex and the Ring Cam record images at 720p resolution, which is high definition.
The Nest Outdoors records images at 1080p, (which is full high definition) which makes this camera really stand out.
1080p has been the gold standard for the best smart security cams although at some point in the near future, recording images in 4k or ultra high definition will be available.
The Arlo Pro, the Nest Outdoor and the Ring Stick Up Cam all offer two way audio, which allows a person who is connecting to their camera via the app to have a conversation with anyone who is adjacent to the camera itself.
Two-way audio is standard across most security cameras and it is a real surprise that it is not yet available on the Canary Flex.
Finally in the video and audio section, all four of these cameras have a live stream feature.
This enables a user to connect to their camera via the app remotely and see and hear what the camera is “seeing and hearing” now.
This is a very popular feature with buyers.
The winner of the section has got to be the Nest!
5. Power & Storage
In this section I take a look at the power and storage features that these security devices have.
The Arlo Pro and the Ring Cam are both battery operated.
These cameras have power leads but the leads can only be used to recharge the battery.
The battery in the Ring Cam is a much more powerful battery than the battery in the Arlo Pro.
The battery in the Ring is 5200 milliamps, where has the battery in the Arlo Pro is 2440 milliamps.
The battery in the Canary Flex has an even greater capacity it is 6700 milliamps which is huge comparatively.
Also the Canary Flex can run on battery as well as running on an power cable
This suggests that the battery in the Ring Cam should last a lot longer than the battery in the Arlo Pro.
the Nest Outdoor camera can only be powered by a power cable. It doesn’t have a battery.
It has a very long power cable which measures 25 feet.
The Ring Cam is the only camera which uses solar power.
You can buy a small solar panel and plug it in next to your camera so that the battery will never go flat.
This is a very very new and innovative way for a smart device to be powered.
None of the other three cameras in this comparison can use a solar panel.
It will be interesting to see how widespread the use of solar panels becomes in charging devices that are used outdoors.
Power over Ethernet
None of these cameras are powered with power over ethernet.
The reason that this feature is included in this comparison is that another Arlo camera, the Q Plus, is powered via ethernet.
All four of these cameras would want their owners to use their cloud storage services because most of them have a monthly subscription to pay.
Alternatives to cloud storage for these devices are very, very limited.
The Arlo Pro has 3 plans.
Firstly it has a seven day storage plan which is free. In this plan all of your recordings are stored and kept for 7 days.
Secondly is a 30-day storage plan which will cost you $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.
This option stores and keeps your recordings for 30 days.
Thirdly is a 60 day storage plan which is $14.99 a month and $149.99 for the year.
In this final option your recordings are stored for 60 days.
The Canary flex has two storage plans which seems very simple.
The first plan is free and it will store all of your footage for 24 hours.
However, for $9.99 a month you can store an unlimited number of recordings for an unlimited amount of time- as long as you continue to pay the subscription.
The Nest Outdoor has two paid storage plans.
The 10 day plan will store all of your recordings for 10 days and it will cost you $10 per month or $100 per year.
Or there is the 30-day storage plan which will keep all of your recordings for 30 days and that will cost you $30 per month or $300 per year.
Finally the Ring Cam has three different plans.
Firstly, it has a free 30 day trial.
Or you can pay $30 per year for unlimited storage per camera.
Or you can pay $100 a year for unlimited storage with unlimited cameras.
Alternative Storage Methods
As I said earlier, the options for using non cloud storage are very limited.
The Nest and the Ring have no alternatives.
The Flex will enable you to download your recordings to your smartphone which you can then transfer to another backup device.
With the Arlo Pro you can store things locally on a USB device but this backup only works if you are already paying for one of their cloud plans.
I don’t know about you, but my section winner is the Canary Flex
In this section I take a look at how these cameras connect to networks and other devices.
All 4 of these cameras use a wi-fi network to connect.
The Canary Flex, the Nest Outdoor and the Ring connect directly to your home wi-fi network.
The Flex and the Nest Outdoor Cam connect to routers that run at either 2. 4 gigahertz or 5 gigahertz speeds whereas the Ring can only connect to home routers that run at a 2.4 gigahertz.
The Arlo Pro uses uses a wireless protocol to connect to its own smart hub.
Unfortunately I can’t find any details about the sort of wi-fi that it uses to connect to its hub.
It cannot be directly connected to your home wifi unfortunately.
However the good news is that you can connect lots of Arlo Pros to a single base station.
So once you buy one why not buy more?!
Some smart security cameras enable the user to connect to their router using an ethernet cable but none of these cameras have that as an option.
The Arlo Pro uses an ethernet cable to connect between the smart hub and the router.
The next feature in this comparison is 4G and the reason that this is in my comparison is because Canary were working with Verizon to develop a weatherproof mount containing a 4G SIM card.
This would be an alternative means of providing a Wi-Fi connection. And it would be very useful for people who want to position their camera where they cannot connect to their home wi-fi.
However, I think that the prices of 4G data plans currently are still too high for this option to be widely popular.
None of the other smart cameras have any special weatherproof devices that can provide a 4G connection.
The Flex and the Nest Outdoor recommend using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection during setup.
The Arlo Pro and the Stick Up Cam do not use Bluetooth in any way.
And finally in this section let’s take a brief look at encryption.
A few minutes ago we were discussing the different cloud storage options for all of these cameras.
Three of these cameras use 128-bit AES TLS encryption as your recordings are being uploaded.
Those cameras are the Pro, Outdoor and Stick Up.
This is the same level of encryption that banks use and so it is very secure.
But the Flex takes security one step further by providing 256 bit encryption.
Once again, the Canary Flex is my section winner.
7. Design & Warranty
In this section I take a look at the design and warranties on these devices.
All of the Cameras only come in one choice of colour.
The Pro is white, the Flex is black, the Outdoor is white and the Ring is black.
It seems extraordinary to me that most smart devices are only available in one colour!
The slight exception to this is that you can buy different coloured silicone covers for your Arlo Pro to help fit with the colour scheme of your house or if you want to hide it you can buy a camouflage pattern.
Since all of these smart Cameras are meant to be used outside I would expect them all to have an IP rating.
The Arlo Pro, the Canary Flex and the Nest Outdoor all have an IP rating of 65.
IP stands Ingress Protection and these are standard ratings that show, in simple terms, how weather proof a device or object is.
The first number 6 means that a device is totally dustproof.
The second number, 5, means that a device has very good protection against water, such as light rain or light snow.
For it to be protected against a heavy rain or snow storm this number would need to be 6!
It is a real surprise that the Ring Camera is only rated as weather resistant and that it doesn’t have an official IP rating.
As well as an IP rating all of these cameras also have an operating temperature range.
The ranges are all pretty similar but the Arlo Pro has the best one as it operates between -14 degrees to 122 °F which is – 25 to 50 °C.
Some smart security cameras that are available, monitor air quality. But none of these cameras do.
All of these cameras, with a bit of confidence, can be installed by yourself.
As long as you feel confident using drill and a screwdriver these cameras come with step by step set up guides which are included in the app.
There will also be plenty of helpful installation videos for each of these cameras on YouTube.
However if you don’t feel confident installing one of these cameras or you just don’t have the time then you can employ a reliable and local builder or electrician to do the job for you.
Or if you contact the manufacturer directly some of them, such as Nest, have the team of qualified installers.
Finally in this section, let’s have a look at the warranties.
The Arlo Pro and the Canary Flex and the Ring Cam all come with a 1 year limited warranty.
The best of the bunch however is the Nest Outdoor which comes with the 2 year limited warranty.
My vote for the overall winner in this section is the Nest Outdoor.
8. Home Automation
In this section I take a look at the how compatible the cameras in my comparison are with different home automation or smart home systems.
Home automation is the technical term used to describe the technology that powers smart homes.
It is the ability of smart devices to connect to and interact with each other.
There are a number of different languages or systems that devices can use to do this.
All of the four cameras in my comparison have slightly different compatibilities.
IFTTT (IF This Then That) is an app that allows devices to respond and interact with one another automatically via “applets”.
An applet contains a set of instructions or rules that outline the circumstances under which two or more devices respond.
The Arlo, Canary and Nest cameras have official applets on IFTTT but there doesn’t seem to be any of these for the Stick Up Cam.
By official I mean that there are applets that have been created by the manufacturer themselves- as opposed to applets that are created by enthusiasts.
Quite surprisingly, only two of these devices work directly with Amazon Alexa, a digital assistant that enables devices to respond to voice commands via interactive speakers, such as Echo.
These Cameras are the Arlo Pro and the Nest Outdoor.
The Flex works with an Echo, but only via a few applets on IFTTT.
The Ring Camera seems to have no Echo capability.
None of these Cameras are compatible with HomeKit- Apple’s system for smart homes.
The Nest Outdoor is the only smart camera in this list that works with the Nest smart home system and only the Canary works with Wink which is a very popular system.
The Arlo and Ring cameras are the only two that work with Samsung’s SmartThings.
The Arlo Pro wins this section.
9. Remote Access
In this section I take a look at the how these security cameras can be accessed remotely.
Remote access is the ability to control a device without physically touching it. It is one of the most desirable features of any smart device.
It gives an owner to control a device from the other side of the room or the other side of the world.
The Pro, Flex and Outdoor models can all be accessed on a variety of iOS devices (including Apple TV) as long as the device is running iOS version 9 or later.
The Stick Up Cam only requires iOS version 8.1.
The situation with Android smartphones and tablets is more complicated as the version of software needed can rely on the specific device you are using.
The quickest and easiest way to check is to visit the Google Play Store on the device that you are intending to use and you can find out about compatibility immediately.
For Arlo and Ring Cameras, the device needs to be running version 4.1 or later and for the other two cameras it is device specific.
Only the Ring Cam has an app for Windows 10- none of the other manufacturers have bothered with this as Windows 10 mobile has so few users.
The Canary cannot be accessed via a traditional browser but the Pro, Outdoor and Stick Up all provide access via a browser, which is great because it allows “traditional” computers, such as laptops or desktops to be used.
And in this section, I think that the Ring Cam is the winner.
10. Overall Winner
And so in this Arlo Pro vs. Canary Flex vs. Nest Outdoor vs. Ring Stick Up Cam comparison, who were the winners and losers?
In my opinion, the winner and Gold medallist is the Nest Outdoor.
In second place with a Silver medal is the Arlo Pro.
And in the bronze medal position in this comparison is Ring Cam although I think that it was a close run thing between the Ring Cam and Canary Flex.